See incredible art in Melbourne this winter
Italy is one of the world's most beautiful destinations for all things artistic - but how can you get a taste of this sumptuous destination without leaving Australia?
This August, you can see the glorious exhibition that is 'Italian Masterpieces' at the National Gallery of Victoria.
This inspiring exhibition features some of the most celebrated works from Italy's most famous artists, including Raphael, Correggio, Titian, Tintoretto, the Carracci and Tiepolo. All the works in the exhibition were produced between the 16th and 18th centuries, many from the Royal Court in Spain. The Spanish nobility were passionate collectors of Italian art, and this collection reflects the various tastes and preferences of many of Spain's Kings and courtiers. This is an incredible opportunity to see the works up close in Australia.
Usually, these works are displayed at the renowned Museo del Prado in Madrid, however the museum has generously loaned the works to this exclusive Melbourne display. The series of more than 100 pieces is the largest number of Italian works the Museo del Prado has ever loaned to a single exhibition - and many of the wonders on loan have never before travelled out of Spain.
This occasion marks an incredibly rare exhibition to see these stunning paintings and drawings on Australian shores - with some of the awe-inspiring feats of artistic mastery measuring metres in length and height.
In addition to the artworks themselves, there are a number of accompanying events and lectures to help enhance the experience. Check out 'Friday Nights at Italian Masterpieces', which runs on Friday nights until the end of August from 5.30 p.m. until 9.30 p.m. The evening will feature live musical acts and pop-up talks featuring contemporary artists, experts, curators, critics and foodies - just for starters! Look for for artist perspectives from Andrew Hazewinkel and Janet Beckhouse, plus an address by Father Bob Maguire. Tickets to this event are $28 for adults, $23 for members and $10 for children.
"This occasion marks an incredibly rare exhibition to see these stunning paintings and drawings on Australian shores - with some of the awe-inspiring feats of artistic mastery measuring metres in length and height. "
Friday night isn't the only time you can experience live music as you peruse the gallery, however. Daily at 1 and 2 p.m. there will be atmospheric period music during your visit, helping you to absorb the works.
The National Gallery of Victoria is located at 180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne, and hosts many other spectacular works and collections from Europe, Asia, America, and Oceania, so is well worth a visit no matter the time of year.
Where to stay in Melbourne
Book your holiday accommodation in Melbourne for your journey to the Italian Masterpieces exhibition. Mantra Southbank is a convenient option, featuring one and two bedroom apartments just five minutes' walk from the gallery.
Also consider Mantra 100 Exhibition, which has one and two bedroom apartments available in the CBD. Another great central option is Mantra on Little Bourke, which boasts executive suites as well as studios and one and two bedroom apartments of various descriptions. Enjoy the fully equipped gym and sauna while indulging at the onsite restaurant, the Alibi Kitchen and Bar.
For a gorgeous parkside location, you could opt for Mantra on the Park, located at 333 Exhibition Street. The views from your private balcony overlook the gorgeous city skyline or the World Heritage-listed Carlton Gardens, making for a delightful stay. Choose from a one, two or three bedroom apartment depending on the needs of your family or group. You can also enjoy an indoor heated pool, sauna and gymnasium, while satiating your appetite at the Terrace Restaurant Bar and Grill.
Don't miss your opportunity to see incredible Italian artwork up close on Australian shores, with this rare and exciting collection unlikely to return anytime soon.